“The lord provides technology to accomplish its purposes.” – Brother Randall L. Ridd
It is pretty apparent that technology has gradually embedded itself in our minds with internet being the driving force. There is no segment of society that has been spared of this evolution. Even charities or fundraisers that have stuck to their conventional ways for a very long time, have modified their ways under the influence of technology.
Online fundraising and crowdfunding have transformed the prospects of giving. Realising this progress, many organisations behind various online platforms have risen to the occasion and taken interesting turns in the process. Indiegogo created a game centric venue, Kickstarter launched a rock album, Rockethub promoted a web-series.
In this increasingly connected online world, isn’t it time for Catholic churches to up their crowdfunding game? But how could crowdfunding help churches bolster giving? Here we have a few strategies to know how.
To begin with, the General Council on Finance and Administration, The United Methodist Church, has published a guide for those churches who are opting crowdfunding in the United States.
A few recommendations for a successful campaign are as follows:
Set, Introduce, Present
It is necessary to set a determined goal towards your crowdfunding. Brainstorm the final output that you want from this campaign and regulate your process according to it. For example, if your church is helping the homeless, organising a community lunch sale offering “buy a lunch, give a lunch”, pricing the food slightly higher than average to support your cause would be a great idea.
The next step would be to introduce this idea to the people. Tell your story around the campaign or how you came up with the idea. It could be a short video which wouldn’t require a lot of work, but should just convey your ideas profoundly. To attract the people’s attention, high quality images could be used. Churches do have a big network and it is possible that they might easily find an amateur photographer around.
It is also necessary to tell the people about the prospects when the crowdfunding is successful. Present them with the step by step plan that the church wishes to implement and what outcomes the donors must expect in the following months. This would be perfect for the orientation of your team towards a definite goal as well.
Choose the right platform
Because not all crowdfunding platforms are equal, your team must be confident that they have chosen the right one. Above all, the most important aspect of one such platform for a nonprofit is the customizability of the platform. This does give your team ultimate control over the campaigns but also adds the ability to tailor everything according to the community they are serving.
|Individual Platform Fee||0%||0%||5%||0%||4.90%||0%|
|Organization Platform Fee||5% or $49/mo||N/A||2 – 4.5%||4%||4.90%||0%|
|Processing Fee (Per Transaction)||2.9% + $0.30||2.9% + $0.30||2.9% + $0.30||2.9% + $0.30||2.9% + $0.30||2.9% + $0.30|
|Social Sharing (facebook, Twitter)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Social Network (in-app Sharing)||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
Choose a partner that provides you the liberty to :
- Feature your colors, photos and videos. The closer the page aligns with your church, the more likely viewers will donate.
- Track funding pages and broadcast progress to supporters. When people see how much their donation will affect your cause, they’ll be further motivated to give.
- Personalise the opt-in forms. Include suggestion buttons, recurring gift opt-ins and customised fields to collect important user data.
Maximise the effect through Social Media
Crowdfunding isn’t just about creating a fundraising page online but more of a social fundraising instrument. There is a number that can be called enough, when it comes to sending out links.
To fully spread your word, you’ll need to involve social media and increase your engagement rates. Some tips to increase your strength social media could be :
- Embedded forms. It isn’t really appealing if a user has to click multiple times just to reach and fill-out a form. Add them to your social media pages so that donors could fill them where they already are.
- Donation Buttons. Many social media websites such as Facebook allow you to add donation buttons on your pages. Just a few clicks and your donor will be able to complete their gift.
- Type of content. On many websites, the content that is more engaging such as photos and videos, would appear at the top of user’s timelines. So be sure to create such content while running campaigns.
The Three Obstacles
Keep in mind that you need to overcome three main obstacles when it comes to Catholic funding.
- Annoying people with the constant push. Crowdfunding equals high visibility in a short amount of time. Hence, you have to race forward in your short time frame to reach the goal. Keep updating people on your progress and ask them to donate.
- Keeping up the pace to reach your goal. Don’t lose momentum. If the campaign starts slowing down, you need to push it harder by making it reach more and more people. Remember, not to put the timescale for too long. For, if you’re going to be setting it for one year, you’re just fundraising, not crowdfunding.
- Gaining one-off donations rather than lifelong supporters. It is likely that you’ll get one-off donations with limited contact information about the donor. But a great crowdfunding campaign is one where you inspire people to commit to you for the long run. Not turning these donors into recurring ones would lead you to finding new donors and continually committing to the effort.
Embrace the new measures : P2P Funding and Text-to-Give
At GiveCentral we project organisations to the new age wonders of fundraising. Eventually, technology becomes something brought to us to accomplish greater purposes, thus, we include the latest developments to support those in need.
To conduct crowdfunding efficiently and easily, Text-to-Give and Peer-to-Peer Funding stand out in today’s scenario.
- Text-to-Give : User-friendly yet a very untouched tool for church fundraising, which is easy to use and set up. Donors receive a unique phone number where they can text the amount they wish to donate and then follow the link to complete it. Use our product and experience how mobile fundraising is just as easy as a text.
- Peer-to-Peer Fundraising : Put the reins in your supporter’s hands and let them run campaigns to support your cause. Individuals can set up fundraising campaigns under their own name and invite their contacts to make donations to your church’s cause. Our crowdfunding software assists users in creating customisable pages and analyse their campaigns through integrated reports from leading softwares across the internet.
We at Givecentral.org look to cater all the needs of nonprofits with our interactive products to assist them at every step along the process. With all the current trends in our basket, we are looking forward to host your Catholic fundraising campaign and making it successful. Happy Fundraising!